Why Do We Fast?
Updated: Mar 28, 2019
I love food. I think everyone does. So I think when someone choose to fast, it’s not natural desires. It’s an act of faith and act of obedience. I do fasting regularly every year when the church made regular corporate fasting programme. I got inspired a lot about fasting when I read a book called ‘Fasting’ by Jentezen Franklin. This book changed my point of view about fasting and make me feel delighted when doing it. Fasting not only gives us spiritual benefit but there is a physical side to it too.
Physically, fasting cleans our body and helping our body eliminate toxins. Spiritually, God’s promises (written in Matthew 6:33) told us that for each of us who wants to seek God and His Kingdom as their priority, God will look after our needs as well.
Matthew 6:33 ‘ But seek first his Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’
So bear in mind when we fast, it’s not about just skipping meals. The important part of fasting is that we make special time to spend time alone with God, focus on His word, and use the extra time to pray more and worship more. Because fasting without spending time with God is just a ‘special’ diet.
When we are hungry for more of Him, I believe He will reveal something to us personally. If we need strength, He will satisfy us with His strength. If we need wisdom, He will fill us with His wisdom like Salomon. He also deals with our heart. He changes our heart, softens it and makes us more alert and aware with spiritual things because we are in the focus posture.
I am really thankful for everyone in the church who is taking part in fasting period. I truly believe God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrew 11:6). I pray that each and everyone of us experience God’s beauty in our every life. He’s the one who can satisfy us. More than our job, position, money, or even our family. He’s the one who can help us when the troubles, storm, challenges, dark valleys come to our life. (My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth- Psalm 121:2).
For everyone that has never done ‘fasting’ let me encourage you. Don’t hesitate to take a step in this spiritual journey. You can start with skipping 1 meal, you can choose between skip breakfast, lunch or dinner. If it matters to you it matters to God as well. Every sacrifice or effort that you made, God knows and He will do something out of it. Take a step with faith and He will give you strength. God bless you.
In His Blessing,
The following are the testimonies of our brothers and sisters from Ecclesia Mission Eastern about the fast they have just completed.
Ps. Nino Maulana
Is this your first time fasting?
This is not the first time I fasted. This year's fasting is somewhat different from usual, because this year Ps. Yappy mentioned that our goal for fasting is not to ask for something from God but simply to know and get closer to God. We should not see God as being useful, but above of all He is beautiful. So in this fasting time I did a lot of reflection about God, His kindness in my life & family all this time, and did not raise special requests personally.
What are the challenges for you in undergoing this fast?
Because I like to eat, the biggest challenge is my hunger😊. Seriously, the biggest challenge for me is to keep the focusing my heart to God. As an employee who works 9-5 every day, it is not always easy to fast by keeping focus on God in prayer and reading the Word of God. Working in the office certainly requires concentration and attention. But I tried my best to have as much dialogue as possible with God between work in the office, and also free time at home.
Did God speak more clearly to you personally during this fasting period?
I believe God always speaks especially through His Word (the Bible), whenever the time and whatever our circumstances. Fasting makes us more 'switched on' but that does not mean God only speaks when we fast. However, during this fasting there is one thing that I believe God puts in my heart personally. I will continue to test, struggle and pray for this.
Stefanie Salim / Mei - Mei
Usually when I fast (from prior experience), I feel a very "tangible" thing like I got the answer to the prayer I prayed for or I heard God's voice clearly when I prayed or read the Word.
But this year, I feel "He is so silent". I did not feel the things that I used to feel when I fasted.
I asked God why God didn't speak clearly through prayer or the Word. But the Holy Spirit continues to remind me to remain faithful in fasting.
And 2 days ago I cried down before God asking, "Lord, where are You when I need You the most?"
There I just realized, God doesn't seem to speak because He is waiting for me. Maybe I can explain what I mean.
Sometimes we fast with different goals / motivations. But actually fasting is a time when we abandon everything and come fully to seek God not because we want to get answers to prayer / comfort, etc (this is a bonus from fasting).
God is reminding us of the focus of this fasting is "HE" which is His personal figure. And through this I just realized that I knew His person more (the side I had never seen or felt before).
Even though God may or may not answer our prayers, HE is still God.
What I learned in this fast, God reminded me, that in things that are "ordinary things" - pray, read the Word - we are sowing the seeds of faith in our personal lives. We are equipping our self for future battles.
Maybe we don't reap it now, but it will be harvested in the future when the struggle strikes us.
God also reminded me to continue to wholeheartedly seek HIM.
The challenge I felt during this fast was "time", because by working full time, busy taking care of family, children and home affairs, it was sometimes easy for me to look for excuses not to have time to pray.
But the Holy Spirit reminded me to put my priorities in life. Looking for God is living water for my life and family . As if we know how valuable something is, we will take good care of it.
Just like our relationship with our Father in Heaven, we must take care of it, namely by taking time for HIM.
May my testimony bless you.
Angelica Tanzil / Jelly
Every time there is a fasting program in the church, I always try to follow it. So this is not the first time I fast. Sometimes there are many trials and obstacles, but I try my best to keep fasting. I am only human, the desire to be persistent in fasting is high, but this body is weak, holding back hunger is difficult, so there are many instances where sometimes I don’t fast too. When this happens, sometimes I feel accused, but I believe God sees sincerity not only action, so I am not discouraged, or feel guilty because of breaking fast, but I am even more passionate to give better things to God the next day.
This year's fasting is a bit different, because starting this year we involve our children in prayer together before going to bed, every day during this fasting month. There are certain prayers that we raise, and the more we pray, we become even more convinced to give up our problems in God's hands. The more we pray, the more we realised that we could do nothing without His help. We haven't seen the answer to the specific prayer, but whatever it is, we believe it must be the best.
To be able to wake up every morning with nothing short of anything, it is the answer to our prayers every day. So for us, God always hears and answers our prayers every day. I want to encourage you all, even though fasting will end soon, as long as our prayers do not end, believe our problems He will overcome. He is faithful and His blessings and mercy are new every morning! So I hope you can count your blessings every day !!
My experience in fasting in 2019 was very passionate, despite holding back my fondness for eating.
For me the fast really refreshed my spirituality. Like a car battery because it is used continuously it will run out for a long time, then charged back before it died.
Likewise our spirituality during fasting, we fill more than ordinary days; so that it becomes fresh and excited again.
Usually with busyness and problems that exist in our lives make ourselves tired, and finally only a little time for God.
In this fasting I reduced my daily activities and replaced them with listening to sermons and reading the Word of God.
I have started fasting from a young age; Praise the Lord, I have a mother who has set an example for me in accompaniment with God.
Some challenges during fasting in 2019:
Sometimes I stopped fasting early because during fasting there are families who come from Indonesia
My health was not so good so I was about to stop fasting altogether, but Praise God, at the end I can complete it, even though sometimes I only fasted half-day.
I think the most important thing in fasting is not how long we don't eat and drink, but how long we give more time to seek God (feed our spiritual being).
During this fast in particular, the Lord taught me to be more consistent in "seeking God's face". So it's not only during fasting.
What I mean here is not just to pray and read the Word of God; but it is even more important to worship Him (looking for God's face), given the goodness of God that has been given; so that our faith becomes stronger. - Psalm 105: 4.